This past weekend was the annual church retreat at Camp Friendenswald. We weren't able to be there the whole time, but went for the overnight Friday so that we could head out to the fen overlook at dawn. It was a beautiful morning to listen to the quiet chatter of ducks, bursts of loud calls from geese, the whir of wings as a small flock winged overhead, the calls of blackbirds gathering in one sunlit tree over a bed of burst cattails.
The sun slowly rose over the treetops to the east, and worked its way down the hill to our west, a tide of shadow ebbing away and leaving bright fall colors behind.
Later in the morning, Eric Kurtz led a hike, stopping in the meadow between the two fens to describe the efforts to create a passageway encouraging the endangered Mitchell's Satyr butterfly to spread from the one fen where they've found it to one closer to the lake. As we listened, I found a shiny black and tan chrysalis in the blanched grasses. The case was the right shape for a monarch, but the butterfly inside was not the proper orange and black. Either this was a species that makes a similar chrysalis, or, more likely, I've finally found a monarch chrysalis in the wild, but the butterfly did not survive. We haven't had a hard frost yet in Goshen, but they may well have had one here in Michigan.
"Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"
I've taken on a prayer practice of looking for the moments of light in each day, whether actual or metaphorical, and then writing or posting photos of what I find.